Governor moves to the left

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Kennedy, 45, is a member of the state Public Utilities Commission and got to know Schwarzenegger in that capacity. She previously served as Cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff to Davis. She has also served as executive director of the California Democratic Party and executive director of the California Abortion Rights Action League. She is also a gay rights activist who married her longtime partner in Hawaii six years ago. She officially starts on Jan. 1 and will receive a salary of $131,412. “She’s a woman that is known as being a hard-working woman, dedicated, and is willing to work whatever it takes to get the job done,” Schwarzenegger said during a Capitol news conference. “She’s willing to set her Democratic philosophy aside and do the job and do my vision – to be able to work together with Democrats and Republicans.” Kennedy said she believes in Schwarzenegger and what he is trying to do for the state of California, and supported his special-election measures. “I’m tired of the partisanship,” Kennedy said. “I’m tired of the intolerance that has resulted in gridlock. And I felt it was time, for me as a Democrat, to put up or shut up.” She replaces current chief of staff Patricia Clarey, a one-time aide to former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. Schwarzenegger said Clarey told him months ago that she was planning to leave after the special election. She is one of a line of top administration officials that have left since Schwarzenegger’s inauguration in 2003, including his original finance director Donna Arduin and her successor, Tom Campbell. And Kennedy is the second Davis staffer to recently be appointed to a a key role in the administration. Daniel Zingale, a former Davis Cabinet secretary, was appointed to be first lady Maria Shriver’s chief of staff. Conservatives say the latest appointment goes far beyond the governor’s desire to be bipartisan. “It’s a betrayal of everyone who was loyal to him during the special election,” said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, a conservative activist group. Harrison Sheppard, (916)446-6723 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Stung by a resounding defeat in last month’s special election and beleaguered by abysmal approval ratings, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved Wednesday to win back supporters by naming a Democratic activist as his new chief of staff. The appointment of Susan Kennedy – an aide to former Gov. Gray Davis – immediately drew criticism from foes and even some allies, who said it might backfire by alienating even his loyal conservative base. One group likened it to “George W. Bush appointing Hillary Clinton to be in charge of his administration.” Though Schwarzenegger denied it, the move was widely perceived as an effort to reshape his image following the defeat of his reform agenda in the special election and his sagging popularity. “This is not about drifting anywhere,” Schwarzenegger insisted. “I have my agenda and I know exactly where I’m going. It doesn’t change my political philosophy. It doesn’t change my direction at all – nothing whatsoever.” last_img read more